Redbreast 12 year old: 40%
Aroma: I got notes of heavy wood, honey, grain, hazelnut and juicy prunes
Palate: Creamy apples, verging on apple pie but with an absence of spice. Soft but full in the mouth. Made me think of a warm spring evening.
Finish: Big sweet finish that hit the front of my tongue.
Redbreast 12 year old, Cask Strength: 57.7%
Aroma: Hints of banana and fired brandy with melon, with a splash of olive oil right at the end
Palate: Surprisingly different in the mouth – fiery and spicy, with notes of orange and brandy
Finish: Hits the palate with a burst and finishes on spice, but not terribly sharp given the cask strength tag.
Redbreast 15 year old: 46%
Aroma: Sultanas, baked fruit and especially sour white cranberries that made me think of Christmas (but not the Christmas pudding flavours)
Palate: I got a lot less out of this than the 12 year old. I found it fairly astringent with a flavour that dissipated too quickly for my liking. Notes of baked fruit came through but it was less bursting on the palate.
Finish: Biting spice on the back of the throat but very light on palate.
Aroma: Intriguingly I got Japanese barley tea all the way through this on the nose. There were also hints of baking bread, baked fish, sea, wood and toasted nuts, but it was that rich barley tea that really burst.
Palate: It was as faint as a feather on the tongue. Hints of barley, apricot and light fruit.
Finish: I had very little finish but I expect I was slightly affected by the punchier Redbreasts tried before.
Powers 12 year old John’s Lane: 46%:
Aroma: Notes of dark chocolate, fudge and white sugar played through the dram for me.
Palate: Honey and soft, fresh bread, along with sherried notes of Christmas pudding near the end.
Finish: Fresh vanilla pods and slight honey.
Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy: 46%:
Aroma: This was an exceptionally interesting dram to me, especially because it was near the end of the tasting when I find my nose and tastebuds numbing slightly. Notes of citrus fruit, black pepper, lime, crunchy Granny Smith apples, melon and vanilla all managed to communicate themselves from my scent to my brain.
Palate: Slightly astringent, with notes of pear, apple and pineapple. Delicious!
Finish: There was a giant bite at the front of my palate, followed by a long lasting finish with lingering notes of mandarin oranges and brandy at the back of my tongue.